With some of the highest median priced homes in the country, San Jose homeowners are not in a position to overlook the real estate commissions as a major line item on their closing statement. Something that might blend in with other costs on the sale of a $100,000 home, suddenly is an enormous figure on a $700,000 home sale. San Jose homeowners are also some of the most actively engaged property owners in the country when it comes to understanding real estate. Simply stated, they are very aware of neighborhoods, property values, and other intricacies of the housing market. They are also some of the most Internet-savvy when it comes to online property searches. They understand the importance of having one's home displayed on major Internet real estate websites.
For these reasons and others, flat fee MLS listings have been extremely popular in San Jose, and throughout the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. For those unaware of how San Jose flat fee MLS listings work, it is simple. A homeowner does not list the property with a traditional agent that charges a percentage commission at closing. Instead, the homeowner lists with a flat fee MLS broker who places the property on the MLS for a small, upfront flat fee. The seller continues to offer a commission (often 2.5%) to a buyer's agent in the event that that agent brings a buyer who successfully closes escrow. The seller can sell to a represented buyer and pay the commission, or sell to an unrepresented buyer and pay no commission at all. The listing gains exposure to all the Realtors® in the marketplace, as well as thousands of consumers who search MLS-enabled websites like Realtor.com®, mlslistings.com, and many others. Sellers also benefit from the fact that by listing with a flat fee MLS broker, albeit in a more limited capacity than if they listed with a full commission agent, they still have access to the same purchase contracts, disclosures and other forms which are promulgated by the state Association of Realtors®.
What type of people have taken advantage of flat fee MLS listings in and around San Jose? It is literally all over the map from lawyers in Atherton, to newly-minted Google millionaires in Mountain View, to engineers for H-P in Menlo Park, to professors at San Jose State University, to those in very basic homes in East Palo Alto. There are no limits to the types of properties sold in this program: condos, single family homes, land and other property types; virtually every price point is also represented. Several brokers offer this service and as in any professional service, homeowners should weigh different providers to see whose offering is the best fit in terms of price, service, and other attributes which are important in the sale. Despite recent downward pressure in home prices, flat fee MLS listings have not lost any importance and continue to gain market share as a means of preserving as much equity as possible in the sale of a home. All San Jose area homeowners should examine this option to determine if it might be something they would consider in selling their home.
Donald Plunkett is a flat fee MLS broker with Congress Realty. Congress Realty is one of the leading companies throughout the State of California and the Western United States. More info: http://www.congressrealty.com